Why Mycotox Charter?
ince the discovery of aflatoxins in 1962, mycotoxin contamination became a public health concern with serious economic and ethical implications.
Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by fungi with low molecular weight; they may have toxic activity toward the plants, but mostly represent a serious risk for human and animal health worldwide, since they can be accumulated on many final crop products and they have a broad range of toxic biological activities.
Mycotoxin contamination can have a huge economic and social impact, especially when mycotoxin occurrence on the food commodities is over the regulation limits established by different national and transnational institutions, implying that contaminated products must be discarded.
In the last 20 years, research efforts progressively increased and they contributed significantly to understand favorable conditions for mycotoxin contamination and find out mitigation actions,
However, according to the annuals report of the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF), mycotoxins are one of the main hazard in border rejection notifications in the European Union with more than 2500 notification in the last 5 years.
In the nearest future, mycotoxin problem is expected to have still more importance due to variable factors as consequence of the climate change, fungicide resistance, spread of toxigenic fungal population etc.
Although most of countries, have mycotoxin regulations for at least aflatoxins (FAO, 2004), (Van Egmond et al., 2007) there is still a lack of specific mycotoxin regulations or a poor regulatory and control systems, especially in developing countries which are usually the most exposed to mycotoxin risk.
One of our major challenge for the future is the reduction of mycotoxin contamination, especially in developing countries, and to achieve the fundamental goal of the harmonization of mycotoxins regulation worldwide for supporting a more equitable access to safe food and feed.
How can we win this global challenge? We have to commit personally, as citizens, as members of the civil society and as businesses, and to take on the commitment of asking local, national and international institutions to take charge of specific initiatives in order to achieve a great commitment, a tool of global citizenship that affirm the right of food at no mycotoxin risk is a fundamental human right towards the upcoming UN Millennium Goals.
This is the Mycotox Charter: a concrete and feasible manifesto that engages most of the people involved in food safety: producers, researchers, stakeholders, politician, government of this planet, in the challenge of improve global mycotoxin knowledge and contribute to new legislation and standard settings for a better awareness on mycotoxins problem worldwide.
The Mycotox Charter analyzes the mycotoxin problems and challenges at global level by evidencing the awareness and the priorities in the contemporary world. So it is articulated through reflections and discussions on how we would like to improve knowledge and legislations on mycotoxins by involving citizens, associations, government and businesses who declare their personal support to the aims of the Mycotox Charter.
A safely and better food availability is at stake: signing the Mycotox Charter is a great deed of active participation to constructing it.